August 2008

Tom Gordon might be out for the season as he goes for a second opinion on his right elbow.

Gordon may need Tommy John surgery
Right-hander will seek second opinion on ailing right elbow

J.A. Happ sent back to Lehigh Valley to make room for Scott Eyre.

Phils option Happ to Triple-A
With the addition of Eyre, lefty sent down to get starts

Juan Samuel becomes the 30th Phil to join the Phillies’ Walk of Fame.

Phils welcome Samuel to Wall of Fame
Former second baseman inducted during pregame ceremony

23 innings without scoring at least one run? What in the world is wrong with this team????

The Phillies waste a seven innings, one hit effort by Joe Blanton, a good effort by most of their bullpen, only to finally lose to the Pirates 2-0 in twelve innings because the offense would not be able to score a run in the last twenty-three innings. Phillies’ starter Blanton and Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm would both pitch seven innings of scoreless ball, with Blanton only giving up one hit while striking out seven Pirates and Maholm giving up five while striking out ten Phillie’ batters. Both teams’ bullpens would then take over, keeping both teams’ offenses from scoring any runs until the top of the twelfth. With Les Walrond still on the mound for his second inning of work, with a man on third, and with one out, he would give up a RBI double to Steve Pearce, scoring Ryan Doumit, who has earlier doubled and reached third on a ground out, to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Pirates would increase their lead to 2-0, when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Freddy Sanchez would hit an infield single, knocking in Pearce. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Phillies would threathen with runners on first and second and one out. But the threat would end when Chase Utley hit a fly ball to left field that would be caught by a sliding Brandon Moss who would then get up and throw to first to double up Shane Victorino, as the Phils would fail to score for the twenty-third straight inning.

Joe Blanton would get a no-decision as he pitches seven scoreless innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out seven Bucos. Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would combine to pitch three shut out innings, giving up only one hit, although Lidge would walk two batters to go along with the hit to load the bases, but he would get out of the inning with a foul pop out. Les Walrond would get the lost, as he goes one and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk. His record is now 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA. (All together now: WTH????) Clay Condrey would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Paul Maholm would also get a no-decision as he also pitch seven scoreless innings while giving up five hits while striking out ten Phillies. Sean Burnett, Denny Bautista and John Grabow would together pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits. T.J. Beam would get the win as he pitches two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking three. His record is now 1-1 with a ERA of 4.40. Craig Hansen would get the save, his third of the season and his first as a Pirate, as he goes an inning, giving up no runs on no hits while walking two.

Okay, it’s time to face the facts. This team seriously stinks!!!!! I mean, it’s one thing to lose to a team like the Marlins, the Mets, or the Cardinals, but it is another thing to lose to the likes of the Pirates, who are going nowhere fast. I mean, twenty-three innings since scoring a run? Are you f—king kidding me? What in the bleep is wrong with this team? What are they waiting for, an engraved invitation to score runs??? Fellows, I have news for you: the invite isn’t coming. You need to go out there and start playing this game for real. We all know you can score runs. You just need to actually do it. I don’t know, maybe you idiots need to stop pressing. Take a collective deep breath, and stop trying to force yourselves into scoring runs and just try to get it done. Or maybe this team just need to have its collective backsides kicked in real good. I don’t know about the rest of the fanbase but I am getting real sick and tired of constantly watching and hearing this team screw up, while hearing the broadcast team being able to figure out what they are doing wrong, Charlie Manuel wondering what its going to take to stop it, while the players themselves keep acting as if they are clueless and constantly saying, stay calm people, we’ll break out. Fellows its August, get it through your thick skulls, as long as you keep up with the Alfred E. Nueman bit, it isn’t going to occur. Get me???? Make things happen!!! Is it really that hard to do? I hope not. Oh, one last thing: STOP MAKING PITCHERS LOOK LIKE THEY’RE CY YOUNG!!!!!

The Phillies (62-53) will continue their three games weekend series with the Pirates (53-62, 5th National League Central) on Saturday night. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (4-9, 5.34), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on August 3, where he pitched six strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on four hits, in the Phillies’ 5-4 win. Lifetime against the Pirates, Myers is 2-4 with a 2.92 ERA. He will be trying for his three straight quality start since coming back from the minors, and his second straight win, while hoping that the Phillies’ offense will finally wake up. The Pirates will counter with Ian Snell (4-8, 6.14), who is coming off a bad start against the Cubs on August 3, where he got a no-decision as he would pitch only four innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits, in the Pirates’ 8-5 lost. Lifetime against the Phillies he is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He will be trying to improve his record while trying to see if he can keep the Phillies off of the scoreboard.

The Phillies are now leading the Mets by a game, and the Marlins by one and a half games as the two teams switched places in the division after the Mets defeated the Marlins. The Braves now trail the Phillies by eight and a half games as they once again defeat the Diamondbacks. The Phillies will be trying to bounce back after this hard lost while trying to find some way to score runs.

Welcoming a cross-state rival, trying to see if they can send same packing with a series loss.

The Phillies (62-52) will be welcoming back to Philadelphia the once proud Pirates (52-62, 5th National League Central) for a three games weekend series. The first game of the series will be played tonight at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.94), who is coming off his first victory as a Phil against the Cardinals on August 2, when he went seven very strong innings, giving up only an earned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 win. This will be his first career start against the Bucos. He will be looking for his second win as a Phil, eating up the innings as he does so, while trying to continue Pittsburgh’s present woes. His opponent will be Pete Maholm (7-7, 3.95), who is coming off a lost to the Cubs on August 2, as he got bombed by the presently mighty Cubs, giving up five earned in six innings of work on eight hits, in the Pirates’ 5-1 lost. He has faced the Phillies earlier this year, pitching a complete game against them on April 27, giving up only one earned run on two hits, in the Pirates’ 5-1 win. He hopes to improve his present record while hoping that the Phillies’ batters won’t do any better against him this time around.

There are presently rumbling among both the fan blogs’ and Philly sports writers over the inconsistenty of the Phillies’ offense, an offense that for one or several days will score five or more runs without any problem, and the next can’t seem to be able to even buy a run, making the opposing starter look like Cy Young in the process, while forcing their own starters to be almost picture perfect with some very sad results. I don’t know if this goes back to hitting coach Milt Thompson or not, but it does go to how this team is built. Too much concentration on the long ball and too little concentration on having guys, especially those in the 6-7-8 holes in the battling line-up, being able to make contact to not just put the ball in play, but to follow the late Wee Willie Keeler’s maxim of hitting them where they ain’t, and unfortunately, the guys are hitting them right where the opposition fielders are. And, as I have stated here several times before, they are not doing enough small ball to try and put pressure on the opposition. (Exception being Shane Victorino, as every time he gets on, he puts on the pressure with his threat to steal a base, although I have seem to have noticed a lack of that happening right now. Maybe the home run bug has made him forget about just getting on base and making the defense nervous?) So, if it is Milt Thompson, I have this question: Is there anyone in the present organization who can make these guys do the little things, i.e., small ball, whether they like it or not, and can do it as soon as he shows up? If there isn’t such a person, then firing Thompson now won’t mean anything if they don’t have anyone waiting in the wings who can take charge as soon as he arrive and show these home run hitters the reality that small ball helps a lot more than home runs when it come to be a more consistent run scoring team.

The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins is a game and a half and two games over the Mets as the two teams prepare to face each other at Shea Stadium for a weekend series. The Phillies lead the Braves by nine and a half games as the Braves’ win over the Diamondbacks in Arizona. The Phillies will be trying to take advantage of the once powerful Pirates and try to come away with a sweep at best or a series win at worst while hoping that their two nearest rivals in the East will end up cancelling each other out by the time the weekend is over.

Phillies have picked up Scott Eyre via waivers for a minor league pitcher.

Phillies acquire reliever Eyre from Cubs
Left-hander clears waivers in trade for Minor League pitcher

Cole Hamels is once again denied his tenth win as Marlins’ pitchers would throw a four hit shutout at the Phillies’ offense.

Cole Hamels is once again denied winning his tenth victory of the season, although he would pitch a lot better than he did in his previous two starts, as the Phillies fall to the Marlins’, 3-0. The Marlins would score their first run in the second when, with a runner on second and two outs, Matt Treanor would hit a RBI single, scoring Dan Uggla, who has gotten on base earlier with a two-out double to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. The game would then becomes a pitchers’ duel between Hamels and Marlins’ starter Chris Volstad until the sixth, when with a runner on second and two outs, Josh Willingham would hit a RBI double, scoring Jeremy Hermida, who would has earlier singled and stole second, to make it 2-0 Marlins. Then in the seventh, the Marlins’ would score their final run, as, with the bases loaded and one man out, and with Ryan Madson pitching in relief of Hamels, Hanley Ramirez would hit into a RBI ground out, short to first, scoring Cody Ross, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, to make it 3-0 Florida. That would be the final score as Marlins’ pitching would put out the only Phillies’ rally, runners on first and second, with two out in the eighth, as Matt Lindstrom would get Geoff Jenkins to ground out.

Cole Hamels would take the lost, his third lost in his last six starts, which would include three no-decisions, for which the Phillies are 2-1, as he would pitch six and a third innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits. His record is now 9-8 with a 3.35 ERA. Ryan Madson would pitch two thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Clay Condrey and Brad Lidge would each pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only two hits, both against Lidge. Chris Volstad would get the win, as he throws six scoreless innings, as he three hits the Phils. His record is now 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA. Joe Nelson, Arthur Rhodes and Matt Lindstrom would combine to pitch two scoreless innings against the Phillies, giving up only one hit between them (Rhodes). Kevin Gregg would get the save, his twenty-fifth of the year, as he pitches a scoreless ninth.

The Phillies’ offense would once again be put to sleep as they are only able to get three hits, all singles against Volstad, while getting only four hits overall, with the last one being their lone extra-base hit, a double. Seriously, what is it going to take for the offense to stop Randy Lerching Cole Hamels, forcing him to be practically near perfect to win his starts? Something has got to give, either him telling his teammates off, or the offense starting to crank out runs. Hopefully it’ll be the later and not the former.

The Phillies (62-52) will continue their six games home stand as they prepare to welcome the lowly Pirates (52-62, 5th National League Central) for three weekend games. The first game will be played tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.94), who is coming off his first victory as a Phil against the Cardinals on August 2, as he went seven innings, giving up only an earned run on four hits, in the Phillies’ 2-1 win. This will be his first start against the Bucos since being traded to the Phillies. He will be looking for his second win as a Phil while trying to continue Pittsburgh’s present woes. His opponent will be Pete Maholm (7-7, 3.95), who is coming off a lost to the Cubs on August 2, as he got bombed by the Cubbies, giving up five earned in six innings of work on eight hits, in the Pirates’ 5-1 lost. He has faced the Phillies earlier this year, pitching a complete game against them on April 27, giving up only one earned run on two hits. He hopes to improve his record while hoping that the Phillies’ batters won’t do any better against him this time around.

The Phillies lead against the Marlins is now down to a game and a half thanks to the lost, as the Marlins go on to New York to face the Mets. The Mets now trail by two games, defeating the Padres, as they prepare to welcome the Marlins at Shea Stadium. The Braves presently trail the Phillies by ten games as they start a four games series with the Diamondbacks in Arizona. The Phillies will be trying to put a little distance between them and their nearest opponent as they prepare to face one of the weakest teams in the National League while hoping that the Mets and the Marlins will hurt each other during their three games series.

Kendrick gets his tenth win as he and the bullpen five-hit the fish for a shutout.

Kyle Kendrick pitches six scoreless innings as he would Houdini-like constantly pitch himself out of trouble while he and the bullpen would combined to five hit the Marlins as the Phillies defeated the fish, 5-0. The victory would push the Phillies’ lead back to two and a half games over Florida. The Phillies would score their first run in the first as Chase Utley would hit a RBI double, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk, to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the second as Eric Bruntlett would hit a RBI double, scoring Geoff Jenkins, who has reached base earlier on Marlins’ starter Anibal Sanchez’s fielding error, and has moved to second base when Chris Coste was hit by the pitch, and sent Coste to third, to make it 2-0 Phillies. Kendrick would then help his own cause by hitting a RBI ground out, short to first, that would score Coste and send Jenkins to third, to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The Phillies would then make it 4-0 in the third as Ryan Howard would hit his thirty-second home run of the year, a solo shot. Kendrick would pitch six innings of scoreless ball, constantly pitching himself out of jams as he would only get one 1-2-3 inning (5th) before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. Said pitch hitter, Mark Cervenak, would then get his first Major League hit and first career RBI, as he singles in Bruntlett, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, stole single and then went to third on Dan Uggla’s fielding error, to make it a 5-0 Phillies’ lead. That would be all the runs the Phillies would need, as Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson would combine for three scoreless innings against the Marlins, giving up only one hit between them.

Kyle Kendrick would get the win as he pitches six scoreless innings, giving up only four hits. His record is now 10-5 with a ERA of 4.37. Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson would combine to pitch three scoreless innings (Durbin 2, Madson 1) in relief, giving up only one hit (Durbin). Anibal Sanchez would pitch five innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits. His record is now 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA. Doug Waechter would pitch a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on three hits. Mark Hendrickson would pitch two and two-thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up only one hit.

The victory would put the Phillies (62-51) once more two and a half games ahead of the Marlins (60-54), while the Mets would once again trail the Phillies by three games, as they would lose to the Padres. The Braves now trail the Phillies by ten and a half games.

Time to start taking care of business at home.

The Philles (61-51) continue their three games series with the Marlins (60-53) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (9-5, 4.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 31, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-4 win. He will be trying to rebound from his last start against the Marlins on July 19, where he got rocked for seven runs on ten hits in four and one third innings, in the Philles’ 9-5 lost. Lifetime against the fish, he is 1-1 with a ERA of 5.40 in three starts. He will be trying for his tenth win of the year, while trying to end the Phillies’ present losing streak at one game. The Marlins will oppose him with Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a victory over the Rockies on July 31, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 12-2 win. He will be trying to make it two wins in a row after coming off the disabled list, while trying to get the Marlins even closer to the Phils in the East.

The Phillies, if they want to win the Eastern Division, will have to start taking care of business, and that means that they will have to both win games at home and win games against their opponents in the East, and in this case that means defeating both the Marlins and the Mets, so far the only teams in the National League who they have losing records with. This team seriously need to start putting together better game plans against the other teams’ starters and against their regulars and most important of all, they will have to stick with those plans as best they can, otherwise they are going to be in for some very big trouble as September draws near. Among other things, they will need to start thinking better while they are at the plate, like they did when they faced the Braves two weekends ago to win that series at home. They need to get to thinking in terms of situational baseball. Now, while home runs are nice and dramatic, they mean squat if the team is down by several runs, and are having a hard time getting men on the basepaths to score when the homers are belted. The players need to, as I keep saying every so often, try to get on base with walks, play hit and run, steal bases, move the runners over, sacrifice themselves, hit the ball over to the right side with less than two men outs, hit more sacrifice flies, anything that’ll get runs across when the team is having a bad time trying to score. Of course, this goes back to Charlie Manuel and the team’s hitting coach. Hey, Charlie, you are not an American League manager anymore, start acting like a real National League manager, start putting pressure on your opponent with your team. As for the hitting coach, has he even tried to teach these guys how to play situational baseball? If he hasn’t that may explain a few things. Come on guys, you got brains. Start using them.

The Phillies lead the Marlins by a game and a half as they get ready to face each other tonight. The Mets trail by two games, as they meet the Padres in New York. The Braves trail by nine and a half games as they face the Giants in San Francisco, who they are presently trailing in an afternoon game. The Phillies will be trying to win the series with victories tonight and tomorrow afternoon, as they try to take control of their own destiny for the rest of the season.

Edit: The Braves are now trailing by ten games as they have just lost to the Giants, 3-2.

Moyer is unable to defeat the Marlins, as Phillies lose to Florida, 8-2.

It was bound to happen. The fish were finally able to defeat their nemesis, Jamie Moyer, as the Phils lose to the Marlins, 8-2. The Marlins would score their first run of the game in the second innings, when, with the bases loaded, and two out, Jeremy Hermida would get a RBI walk, forcing in Dan Uggla, who has earlier doubled, to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, the Marlins would increase their lead to 2-0, when, with runners on first and third, Josh Willingham would hit into a force out, third to second, beating out the throw to first, allowing Hanley Ramirez, who has singled, moved to second when Hermida was hit by the pitch, and stole third, to score on the play. The Marlins would make it a 4-0 game in the seventh, when, once again with the bases loaded, and with two outs, Alfedo Amezaga would hit a two-run single that would drop in behind third baseman Greg Dobbs, scoring Jorge Cantu, who has gotten on base with a single, and Uggla, who has walked. In the bottom half of the inning, the Phillies would get on the board, on a two-run home run by Shane Victorino, his twenty-eighth home run of the year, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has singled, making it a 4-2 Marlins’ lead. The play is considered controversial, as instant reply would show that the ball was actually a foul ball, but the umpires refused to change the call after holding a conference. In the eighth, the Marlins would get one of the runs back, as Hermida would hit a RBI single, scoring Ramirez, who has walked and reached second on a wild pitch, giving the Marlins a 5-2 lead. The fish would put the game out of reach in the ninth inning, as, once again with the bases loaded and this time with one out, Ramirez would hit a sacrifice fly for the second out, scoring John Baker, who has earlier walked, to make it a 6-2 lead, while the runners would each move up to second and third. The next batter, Hermida, would follow with a two-run single, scoring Amezaga and Cody Ross, who have both singled earlier, to make it 8-2 Marlins. That would end up being the final score, as Matt Lindstrom would put down the Phillies in the bottom half of the ninth.

Jamie Moyer would take the lost as he loses for the first time to the fish, as he goes five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and three walks. His record is now 10-7 with a ERA of 3.78. Clay Condrey would go one and a third innings, giving up an earned run on two hits. Les Walrond, making his first appearance as a Phil, would go a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and two walks. Ryan Madson would pitch a third of an inning, giving up neither a run or a hit. J.A. Happ would make his first relief appearance as a Phil, going two innings as he gives up four earned runs on four hits and two walks. Walks would especially hurt Phillies’ pitching in last night’s game. Josh Johnson would get the win, as he went six innings, giving up no runs on five scattered hits. His record is now 2-0 with a ERA of 3.34. Justin Miller would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Renyel Pinto would pitch a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Arthur Rhodes would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Matt Lindstrom would pitching a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits while walking the lead off man.

The Phillies’ offense hurt itself in last night’s game by hitting into several double plays, thus preventing the possibility of any kind of an inning being developed, especially late in the game, when they did had a change to rally from behind when it was still a close game. Also, the Phillies’ bullpen had another ineffective night, although it would be because a pair of newcomers could not get the job done. Les Walrond, as he makes his first start as a Phil, would strike out the first man he’d faced, but would then walk the next two batters, to load the bases, followed by a two-run single. His performance would force the Phils to bring in Ryan Madson in the seventh. It’s even worst when you factor in that he started out ahead of the first batter he would walk. And then there’s J.A. Happ. According to the Phillies’ broadcastors, it would seem that the local press has been calling for him to be used out of the bullpen, although the consensus from some of my fellow bloggers has been to not use him out of the ‘pen, since he doesn’t have the mentality to be coming out of the ‘pen. Well, we all know now that Charlies Manuel have seem to have given in to the local sports press and have finally used Happ out of the ‘pen last night, and we have all seen the final results. To which I say to the local sports media, ARE YOU GUYS HAPP-Y NOW??? Now, let Charlie decides when to actually use him again, and hopefully not in an important spot like last night when the Phillies needed to be close to their opponent to try and win the game, although the bats weren’t able to get anything going last night.

The Philles (61-51) continue their important three games series with the Marlins (60-53) tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (9-5, 4.59), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on July 31, where he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-4 win. He will be trying to rebound from his last start against the Marlins on July 19, where he got rocked for seven runs on ten hits in four and one third innings, in the Philles’ 9-5 lost. Lifetime against the fish, he is 1-1 with a ERA of 5.40 in three starts. He will be trying for his tenth win, while trying to end the Phillies’ present losing streak at one game. His opponent will be Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 3.18), who is coming off a victory over the Rockies on July 31, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 12-2 win. He will be trying to make it two wins in a row after coming off the disabled list, while trying to get the Marlins even closer to the Phils in the East.

With the lost, the Phils now lead the fish by a game and a half, while they lead the Mets by two as they get ready to face the Padres for the second game of their series. The Braves now trail by nine and a half games after their win over the Giants last time. They will be preparing to play the last game of their three games series with the Giants tonight. The Phillies will be trying to even their series with the Marlins tonight, and then try to go for a series win tomorrow afternoon, as they hope that Kendrick will be able to finally find a way to get past the Marlins’ left handed batters tonight.

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